Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Birding Advocacy

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Here’s a Blackburnian Warbler taken on April 5, so the list i provided is not always correct, just a general historical approximation.

A Blackpoll Warbler, taken near the City island Bridge in Pelham Bay Park.

List of Birds at Our Puddle 2017

Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher, Pectoral Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Western Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Killdeer, White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Black-headed Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, Laughing Gull, Peregrine Falcon, Wilson’s Snipe, American Pipit, Merlin, Canada Goose.


Here’s a warbler not seen here. It’s Brewster’s Warbler, across between a Blue-winged warbler and a Golden-winged warbler.


A Blue-winged Warbler also taken in April. I likely took this shot at Rockefeller State Park in Pleasantville, but they are here as well. At Rockefeller they nest and are usually easy to find.

Peak Migration Coming!

May is peak migration in NYC- Birds are Arriving Now, Get out there!

From my experience, I always find mid-May to be absolute peak time for migration. Obviously it can come before or after. If you’ve been waiting, now is the time to begin getting out there. Birds are arriving most days. Don’t miss out!

I won’t be able to do any walks in Pelham Bay Park for a while. Sometime in May, I will begin again. I will also be conducting walks in Van Cortland Park for NYC Audubon, beginning May 26. I will send out more information as it gets closer to that day.

Late April- Little Blue Heron, Common Moorhen, Semi-palmated Plover,    

Solitary Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Semi-palmated Sandpiper, Whip-poor-will, Chimney Swift, Bank Swallow, Cliff swallow, House Wren, Brown Thrasher, Blue-headed Vireo, Black and White Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Parula Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black -throated Green Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow.

Early May- Least Bittern, Ruddy Turnstone, Willet, Short-billed Dowitcher, Common Tern, Least Tern, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, E. Kingbird, Great -crested Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, Catbird, Wood Thrush, Veery, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Golden-winged Warbler, Black and white- Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, American Redstart, Bobolink, Orchard Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Mid May- Knot, White-rumped Sandpiper, Roseate Tern, Black Skimmer, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Wood Peewee, Swainson's Thrush, Gray Cheeked Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Red-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll, Yellow-breasted. Chat, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Indigo Bunting, White-crowned Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow

All photos and text by Jack Rothman

All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 4/12/18

Copyright 2018

A Black-throated Blue Warbler, also taken in our park.

A Black-throated Green Warbler, taken near Turtle Cove.

Common Yellowthroats nest in our park and are easily seen.

Prothonotary Warbler at NYBG a few years ago.